an uncovered journal entry from those first days I'd ever roamed free

BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA - MAY 2015

“I love all the beautiful thoughts that come from that beautiful mind of yours.”

A smile spread across my face as he touched my head and strolled away, leaving me posted upon jagged rock overlooking an endless coastline and infinite ocean. The waves stretched so far and the fog was so dense one could easily mistake the ocean and the sky.

We were in Big Sur, and I can hardly explain how I wound up there, but I knew it was exactly where I needed to be. I was a whole new kind of free.

Less than a month ago I was locked in a small space, in a class with closed doors and in the space within my head. I had too many things, too much anxiety, and too many emotions to continue to bottle up within my heart.

I signed up to volunteer at a festival, bought a one way ticket to California, worked my ass off to finish school strong, subleased my room, moved all my shit out into my parents house, and got on the road for the summer just 2 days after finishing the school year. I convinced two somewhat-friends to join me on the road at different points, but ventured out with little real plans, trusting the universe to fill in the gaps. I was acting on instinct, against the current. But decisions seem to make themselves when you follow the magnitude.

I knew I was in for a journey, and though I had no idea what shape it’d take, I knew I’d never be the same.

As I write this I see Austin in the distance making our bed, beside a tree with only a flashlight to light the way. The moon is missing tonight, hidden behind the fog that coats the mountains. It’s been so good to us for so many days. The darkness gives way to the headlights you can see for miles, far down the coast, lookin like fairies floating in the infinite stretch of air. I can smell the vastness, the opulence of fresh wilderness filling my lungs. Nothing compares to the great outdoors.

I knew I adored him from the second he stepped out of his car. He missed the festival, but he came just in time—my heart had been healed and opened again, and I sensed right away that he’d crawl in and curl up for a while. The universe has opened door after door to give us more time, and we’ve seized every opportunity for moments more together; we’ve made a routine of loving each other on the road.

We’ve slept outside for more days than you can count on two hands; I’m not so sure about sleeping indoors again. I’ve woken up to such beautiful landscapes behind radiant gold hair… I’m never sure if I’ve woken up or am dreaming within a dream.

We smell like patchouli and probably reek of love, our fingernails are dirty and we’ve got woodchips in our hair; but our hearts aren’t hungry as our bellies roar. ‘I need it vs I want it’ you’ve helped me to explore.

And as the dark sinks in and the stars come out, I’ll join you in our afterglow and wrap my limbs with yours. We’ll fall asleep with breeze in our hair as I kiss your neck goodnight. And we’ll wake up in the morning to a whole new sight. The sun will rise, and I’ll shake surprise that you’re still right here with me.

Violet Starkey

Santa Cruz, California